Daily Fantasy NASCAR Race Preview - Camping World 500
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Camping World 500
Phoenix International Raceway - Avondale, AZ
Track - 1 Mile Tri-Oval Short Track
9°-11° Banking in the Corners
NASCAR Goes West continues on to Phoenix after a dominating performance from Martin Truex Jr. and the #78 Furniture Row Racing team in Las Vegas. Truex led 150 laps, swept all stages and picked up max points vaulting him into fourth in the standings, just five points back of leader Brad Keselowski. Truex also leads all drivers with seven playoff bonus points.
While the big story going into the 2017 season was the new stage racing and points structure, the biggest story, in my opinion, is the ascension of the young guns in the sport. Chase Elliott has opened the season with a 14th at Daytona and back to back Top 5's at Atlanta and Las Vegas earning himself the 3rd position in the standings. Doing one better is Kyle Larson who finished 12th at Daytona and has now tallied back to back runner-up finishes. He sits second in the points ahead of Elliott. Ryan Blaney has also been impressive with Top 10 finishes at Daytona and last week at Las Vegas while Erik Jones started out with a crash in Daytona but has rebounded with back to back Top 15 finishes. NASCAR is in great hands!
This week the drivers will battle it out at Phoenix International Raceway, a one mile tri-oval that can be classified as both a short track and intermediate track. It is closely compared to Richmond(.75 mile) and New Hampshire(1.058 mile) for their distance and low banking. It has also been compared to Dover, although only in distance as Dover has much more banking(24º). Phoenix was last re-paved between the spring and fall races in 2011.
Let's jump into some trends at Phoenix International Raceway.
Top 10 Track History at LVMS (2 Year)
There has been no one more dominant than Kevin Harvick here at PIR no matter what timeframe you look at. He has won twice in the last four races and finished all four inside the Top 5 for an elite 2.0 average finish. He has also dominated the laps led with 506 while Joey Logano is a distant second with just 98 laps led. Other drivers that have stood out over the past two years have been Kyle Busch with three Top 5's in three races(3.3 avg fin) and his brother Kurt Busch who has two Top 5's and four Top 10's(5.8 avg fin). Joey Logano is right there as well with a win here this past November with three Top 10's and a 7.5 average finish over the past two years.
Top 10 Track History at LVMS (Career)
Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney have been very impressive early in their careers with back to back Top 10 finishes during their rookie seasons in 2016. Jimmie Johnson with four career wins and 19 Top 10 finishes in 27 races sits with the best average finish(9.0) of all active drivers with more than two races experience. He hasn't been nearly as good lately with just one Top 10 in his last five races here but never count out ol' five....six....seven-time!
Top 10 Intermediate Track History (2 Year)
Continuing with the youth movement, we see both Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott in the Top 3 of best average finish at intermediate tracks that are one mile long. These tracks include Phoenix, Dover and New Hampshire. Being under a mile, Richmond falls under a short track. Then there are no surprises with the rest of the drivers as Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick sit right at the top with Harvick leading a whopping 1,352 laps with none other than last week's winner Martin Truex Jr. right behind him with 629 laps led.
Early Week Picks
Kevin Harvick($11,100) & Jimmie Johnson($9,000) - Harvick for obvious reasons as he is always the top projected dominator in the field at intermediate tracks, especially here at Phoenix. Jimmie is my early GPP play of the week as he and the #48 team have struggled but have dropped to a value price of $9,000 on DraftKings.
Ryan Blaney ($8,000) - A part of the youth movement in NASCAR and as I mentioned above, he and Chase Elliott both picked up Top 10 finishes in both races here last year as rookies. Blaney is a much better value at a $1,700 discount.
Aric Almirola ($6,900) - As with any value play in the sub $8K range, place differential points are very important. Almirola fits the model early in the week as he has gained positive positions in all three races this season and in each of his last five races here at Phoenix.
For a limited time, I am offering a copy of my DFS NASCAR cheathsheet which includes Track History, Current Form, Odds, Track Type History, Practice/Qualifying Ranks and much more. Get it HERE. I also have available my Race by Race Trends sheet you can view as well.
If you have any questions scroll down to the comment section and join the conversation.Good Luck everyone!
Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for three years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is active player in college football, NFL, NBA, PGA, and of course NASCAR. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @jager_bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any NASCAR questions or how he copes with the winters up north.
- NASCAR Phoenix Auto Racing: (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)